Amy Petrinec Named College of Nursing Interim Associate Dean, Research

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Spring 2024 – Vol. VIII, Issue 1

Kent State University College of Nursing is pleased to announce that Amy Petrinec, Ph.D., RN, assumed the role of Interim Associate Dean, Research effective January 16, 2024. In this role, Dr. Petrinec will support and encourage faculty as they pursue scholarly activities through transparency in the research and the Evidence-based practice (EBP) process, including direction for internal and external funding, Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission and encouraging collaboration with other departments.

“The College of Nursing faculty have a wide bandwidth and a plethora of knowledge. I want to help our faculty enhance the college collectively,” said Petrinec, who emphasized the importance of support and inclusion throughout her career in nursing. “I appreciate all the people I have had the opportunity to work with. Those experiences have prepared me to be open to different ways of thinking as each person possesses unique skill sets and abilities for contribution. As I meet with our faculty members, I am eager and excited to learn their goals regarding research and scholarship moving forward.”

As a critical care nurse, Petrinec was drawn to the complexity of this population of patients and the intensity and specificity of care required. Over time, her research focus has extended to understanding how family members of Intensive care unit (ICU) patients cope with having a loved one in the ICU. Her work has followed family members to assess how the ICU process and their loved one’s health outcomes impact the family members’ mental and physical quality of life.

“After several descriptive studies, followed by a couple of intervention studies, I am currently interested in developing a screening tool to identify those who may most benefit from an intervention when their loved one is in the ICU,” said Petrinec.

Petrinec began teaching undergraduate nursing students in 2004 and joined the Kent State University College of Nursing faculty in the fall of 2014. She was excited to contribute to the college’s great nursing reputation alongside her fellow colleagues. Additionally, the closeness of campus to her home was another benefit she could not pass up. As a faculty member, Petrinec enjoys working with a wide range of students from BSN to Ph.D. and marvels at how students' thinking evolves as they progress through education.

Inspired by her mother, who was not a nurse, Petrinec was encouraged to pursue a profession that would help others and from a practical point of view, be generally in demand and provide for her financially. She began her nursing career in the late 1980s and described that time as being extremely task-oriented for nurses.

“Much of the care we provided was not based on evidence and very few nurses had an advanced practice degree or were doctorly prepared,” said Petrinec. “Now, both are commonplace with younger nurses returning to school more quickly to begin graduate work.”

Petrinec has enjoyed many different phases of nursing, from bedside ICU nursing to now working with graduate nurses who are pursuing doctoral work. While each phase has required a caring and thoughtful approach, one of her most memorable nursing moments took place in the Trauma ICU and Burn unit at MetroHealth Medical Center.

“It was exciting, fast-paced, hard work and rewarding professionally,” said Petrinec. “In contrast, I was also near family members of ICU patients not knowing then the impact they would have on my future research trajectory. I would encourage nurses everywhere to treat every patient and family as if they were your own, because their stories and experiences have shaped my nursing career, too.”

Like many working individuals, Petrinec has struggled occasionally with the demands of juggling family and work. While exercise has always been part of her daily routine, Petrinec shared it has evolved from aerobics, long-distance running and tennis to daily cycling at Cyclebar. She enjoys both the physical and mental benefits.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Petrinec to the College of Nursing leadership team!

Image Caption:

Dr. Amy Petrinec poses for a photo outside Henderson Hall on the Kent State University Kent campus on a sunny day. 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 12:17 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 12:17 PM
Mariah Gibbons